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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Putting State's Fiscal House Back in Order

March 01, 2004

Re "Despite the Ads, Armageddon Is Not Nigh" and "Old Spending Habits Could Set State Straight," Commentary, Feb. 26: I greatly appreciated Paul O'Lague and John Bachar's point of view, especially their suggestion that alternatives to huge debt should be thoroughly explored. Sen. Tom McClintock's (R-Thousand Oaks) claim that a 13.4% reduction in spending would end the deficit in a year is certainly tantalizing, for example. Could this be true? Surely, as a state, we can tighten our belts for that long. A year. That's a lot less than the time it takes to pay back the bonds -- and requires a lot less money.

I didn't vote for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, but if he donated all his newly raised campaign money to the state, I would next time, no question, and so would a whole lot of other people, making a campaign fund completely unnecessary.

Ruth Silveira

Los Angeles

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I have for some time been concerned about the growing difference between the very wealthy and the lower-income groups (of which I am not a member). O'Lague and Bachar's suggestions make a lot of sense to me. I am therefore changing my vote from a yes on Proposition 57 to a no.

I am tired of passing on to our children the fiscal problems we are causing. It is time to face up to our responsibilities. A small tax increase (not even a temporary one) is a great idea, and let us petition our legislators to do that.

Milton Wilson

Long Beach

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State Treasurer Phil Angelides still doesn't get it. He has called for higher taxes and a bunch of short-term borrowing in an effort to sway voters away from Propositions 57 and 58. I've read these propositions, and as initiatives go, they're worth a look because they hold government accountable, refinance the existing Gray Davis debt and hold the politicians to spending no more than they take in.

Sorry, Phil. Your "contingency plan" is dead on arrival. But then again, I didn't see much coverage of it anyway as the California media are finally realizing what's going to pass on Tuesday. Yes on Propositions 57 and 58.

Francis Milner

Whittier

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Proposition 57 is a Ponzi scheme. This governor-favored bond issue would have future taxpayers pay off the debts that current and past taxpayers incurred. And "Mr. Congeniality" has raised millions of dollars and is spending them on TV ads trying to con us into buying into this game.

And sadly, he seems to be succeeding. Recent columns in The Times have shown there are several better ways to do the job. Come on, Californians, remember the other TV ad, about oil filters: "Pay me now, or pay me later." And remember, the later cost is always more, a lot more.

Samuel Sensiper

Santa Barbara

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